8 of the most memorable Met Gala looks from Toronto celebrities

The Met Gala is the fashion industry’s prom. Every year, high fashion labels partner with celebrities to shock the world with exquisite fits, all (ideally) tailored to themes determined by each year’s co-chairs. This year, tennis legend Roger Federer, actors Michaela Cole and Penelope Cruz, artist Duo Lipa and fashion editorial icon Anna Wintour set their gaze on “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”

Controversial designer Karl Lagerfeld died in 2019, but his influence on fashion certainly lives on. Renowned for his time reviving Chanel with the infamous “CC” logo and rejuvenating Fendi with his lust for furs, Lagerfeld’s envelope-pushing design philosophy is what guests will attempt to embody this year. 

While the gala serves as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, its function is often trumped by the bizarre and dazzling outfits flaunted on the red carpet. Ahead of the 2023 event, happening Monday at 6 p.m. (you can watch the Vogue livestream here), here are eight Torontonians with Met Gala looks that we’re still talking about.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd made his Met Gala debut in 2016 while accompanied by then-girlfriend Bella Hadid. The Weeknd arguably didn’t go all out when it came to this year’s theme, which was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology.” However, the couple at the time made plenty of headlines for their coordinating outfits and chemistry, and he strutted across the red carpet in a sophisticated, well-tailored black suit which put the “fun” in funeral. 

Rachel McAdams

McAdams made her rounds in fashion blogs and tabloids for her looks in 2014 and 2016. Her first look was a Ralph Lauren pale pink dress which substituted straps for extra fabric that acted as inlets. When standing, the additional fabric stayed stagnant. However, when she took flight across the carpet her dress followed suit, ruffling as she moved through the crowds. 

Shawn Mendes

Mendes and Tommy Hilfiger have a longstanding, pretty successful relationship when it comes to Met Gala outfits. In 2022, matching the “Gilded Glamour” theme, Mendes pulled up in a jacket straight out of Count Dracula’s closet. The exterior had us playing the gold and white or blue and black game as we guessed whether it was purple or blue. Regardless, his upcycled look was certainly glamorous, and he topped off this statement jacket with pointed-toe Chelsea boots and on-trend painted nails. 

Justin Bieber

His intentions might have been to support his wife, Hailey, but in 2021, Justin Bieber stole the show. The theme of the year was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which Bieber interpreted as Run-DMC meets new school. He wore a suit designed by his own label, Drew, which took a mullet-style approach to design. Bieber was all business on top, exposing his neck tattoo under a crisp white dress shirt and tailored black jacket. On the bottom was a wide-legged, bellbottom dress pant that sat overtop custom Nike Air Force 1s. 

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev linked up with Zac Posen in 2019 to 3D print her Met Gala look in order to fit her exact dimensions. Posen said in an interview with Glamour that the dress was designed to look like “a glass slipper, perfume bottle, rock crystal interpreted through my draping.” The result was a perfectly symmetrical, and fitting, mini dress that stood out among Posen’s designs. 

Dan Levy

If you thought Shawn Mendes had some wild Met Gala looks, take a peek at Dan Levy. The Schitt’s Creek actor took to the red carpet in 2021 in a powerful look designed by J.W. Anderson. Anderson has been known for pushing the norms in fashion in recent years and stopped at nothing to do so with Levy’s look. Two men were kissing on Levy’s torso, stitched in black overtop a map — Levy said at the time he wanted the design to celebrate queer love and queer visibility, drawing inspiration from two of American artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz’s works. His show-stopping outfit was rounded out by, well, rounded, frilly sleeves that made a statement at the time but would look right at home on any runway in 2023. 

Shai-Gilgeous Alexander

Athletes can dress up too! Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star guard Shai-Gilgeous Alexander arrived at the 2021 Met Gala in a flashy suit that was meant for the spotlight. His metallic, paisley jacket was paired with a pair of salmon pink trousers, and white Chelsea boots finished off the look. The S in VVS must stand for Shai as the basketball player spared no expense with a tennis bracelet, diamond ring, iced-out Cuban chain and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch. 

Simu Liu

Simu Liu has played a Marvel superhero, the loveable Jung Kim on Kim’s Convenience, and a soon-to-be Ken doll in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie. However, the one role he hasn’t embodied is the role of 007. In 2021, Liu did his best to channel his inner Bond as he entered the Met Gala in an eggshell white suit jacket with black stitching to mimic pop art designs. A pair of patent leather dress shoes or even Converse might have really topped off the look; nonetheless, his look was cohesive and fundamentally Liu.